The Philadelphia Inquirer recently had a great article about how so many rescue dogs end up in the Northeast of the US. Poverty, lack of spay and neuter education, a large number of stray dogs, and underfunded shelters contribute to the numbers of dogs without homes in southern states. West virginia alone took in over 100,000 dogs, half of which had to be destroyed. Lots of the folks that work at these shelters are doing the best they can with the limited resources they have, but it still is not enough.
People dedicated to helping these dogs are working across state lines and have set up what has been unofficially called the "underground railroad for dogs." The internet has helped these folks organize elaborate transportation networks to bring these pups up to the northeast to place them in shelters with more public and private support, or in foster homes.
I encourage you to check out the whole article...it is a worthwhile read about how all of this works with the help of dedicated volunteers. There may be some ways you can help that you didn't know about--like helping transport a dog for just a portion of his trip north. Could you spare just a half a day to help save a dog's life? I promise you will feel good about it.
I was at the "end of the line" at a shelter in North Carolina. Thankfully, the folks at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue helped coordinate my transport to Virginia. I am really thankful to the people that helped me find my way.
[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]